With the sun unusually shining on a February morning, Leoni and I took part in the Classic Military Vehicle Driving Day based in Christchurch, near Bournemouth. The experience was led by Peter who clearly has a passion for all-things-military, making him an excellent instructor for our day. Our experience involved driving a Land Rover 101 Forward Control with a Rolls Royce 4L Engine and a Humber Armored Personnel Carrier, proper old school army vehicles! Here’s how we got on…
First up was Leoni in the Land Rover. Now these vehicles are very old, there’s no fancy technology like power steering or even windshields on some of the vehicles, just good old fashioned strength. Leoni drove the Rover out of its parking spot and we hit the dirt track. Luckily for us, the sun hadn’t dried all the mud up, so we went splashing through and over the rutty path. I was riding in the back seat – you definitely have to hold on, it’s a bumpy ride! Next, it was my turn to take the wheel. It’s a lot harder than driving a car, but with Peters instructions and the odd “NOW LEFT, TOO MUCH LEFT!” we managed to get the hang of it. It was also very amusing listening to Peter shout “watch out for the broccoli!” as the track runs around the side of some crop fields. I navigated round the track back to the start point to drive our second vehicle.
The Humber Armored Personnel Carrier was used for exactly what its name is, to carry military personnel across various terrains, so it needed to be able to withstand some serious conditions. I hopped in the back and Leoni took the driver’s seat again and off we went. From watching, this one seemed harder to drive and it probably didn’t help that we both could only just about see out the windows! But we got round the track laughing and it truly was so much fun.
Thanks so much to Peter for having us! This experience is a totally unique way to spend a lovely morning in the countryside.